2016 will see the 22nd edition of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. Intending visitors have been waiting, keen to know the dates so that they can make travel and accommodation bookings. Now the waiting is over. According to a festival insider the festival will start on Friday May 6 and run through until Saturday May 14
Festival fans have been emailing The View From Fez asking for the dates, aware that the best riads in the Fez Medina will book out very quickly. While first time visitors often opt for hotels in the new city, those in the know seek out rooms in the Medina so as to be immersed in the spirit of the festival.
If you are intending to come to Fez for the Festival - book now!
The May dates will hopefully mean that the temperatures are moderate, though there could be occasional showers during the festival.
This 22nd edition will be the second for Festival Director Tajeddine Baddou, who described his role last year as "an exploratory mission". Tajeddine Baddou, previously a Moroccan Ambassador to the former Czechoslovakia, Canada, Austria and Italy, only took over as director 4 months before the 21st edition, but impressed festival goers and the media with his warmth and openness.
Mr Baddou has had events organisation experience before - in 1999 he was in charge of the Year of Morocco, showcasing the country through more than 400 international events.
One of the biggest challenges, says Mr Baddour is that, "We have a lack of sites in Fez to stage concerts. When the weather is good, Bab Makina can have a real magic, with the magnificent walls and the birds flying overhead. But the acoustics are not good, and in wet weather it's not possible to cover it."
There simply isn't an alternative venue in Fez that will hold an audience of thousands. It's something, Mr Baddou says, that the team will be trying to address.
Another aspect that will be a focus is an increasing move towards using English during the Festival. "Because we have a lot of English visitors," he says. Last year, at his instigation, opening night introductions were given first in Moroccan Arabic and then in English, before French. It was a step in the right direction given the large numbers of English speakers and those whose second language is English rather than French
|Festival Director Tajeddine Baddou|
As a Fes Festival Media Partner, The View From Fez, will once again have a team of photographers, reporters and musicologists providing the most extensive English language coverage of the entire festival
The Fes Festival of Sufi Culture is expected to be held in April but the dates have yet to be announced.
Relive last year's magic! See all our Fes Festival 2015 reviews
Fes Festival Opening Night
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The View From Fez is an official media partner of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music